At least thirteen people were killed in Argentina Saturday after a violent storm thrashed the port city of Bahía Blanca with strong winds and rain, about 400 miles south of the capital, Buenos Aires, officials said.
The nation’s meteorological service warned residents of Buenos Aires that the storm, which had gusts of up to 86 miles per hour, making it comparable to a Category One hurricane, and blew roofs off in Bahía Blanca, was headed toward them. The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall and intense winds to the capital.
President Javier Milei and the mayor of Bahía Blanca confirmed the deaths.
Images published by local media outlets showed harrowing scenes in Bahía Blanca, home to more than 300,000 people. Video showed blustering winds whipping the sides of high rise buildings accompanied by distant flashes of lightning and smothering haze cloaking much of the city. Pictures showed large trees knocked over and tattered buildings, some with their roofs blown off or collapsed.
The worst damage was to a basketball gym, Club Bahiense del Norte, officials said, where emergency medical workers were working to treat victims.
In a statement, Mr. Milei said officials in his cabinet were assisting local authorities.
“The president expresses his deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who died because of the storm,” his office said in the statement, which was released just after 11 p.m. local time.